Netflix Series Shadow and Bone should NOT be Hidden in the Shadows

The fantasy adventure Netflix series Shadow and Bone, directed by Lee Toland Krieger and Mairzee Almas, was released on April 23 of this year and tells the story of Alina Starkov who has a power that can unite her dystopian world. Alina’s hometown, Ravka, is separated from the others by a wall of darkness called “The Fold,” which contains deadly creatures that prey on whoever enters. This series is based on two book series by Leigh Bardugo, called Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows. The former focuses on Alina’s story and her quest to unite the world, while the latter is about teenage heisters, Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, and Jesper Fahey, which makes up the series’ subplot. Shadow and Bone contained the right amounts of suspense, adventure, and romance that, despite the slow subplot, tied everything together in a perfect fantasy adventure. 

Alina’s character is a highlight of the show. Alina is discriminated against due to her origins in an anti-Ravkan country, as well as her status as an orphan. Additionally, she is not a known Grisha, meaning she has no ability to perform magic. 

It is fulfilling to see her blossom, form friendships and become a cartographer, despite everything being set against her. When she discovered her power as the Sun Summoner and was given importance because of this fact, I found myself rooting for her. Despite her perseverance, she faces some internal conflict due to the expectations set on her to reunite the country, which allows the audience to see some raw depth, making her story more compelling. Her romance with the two male leads was another great feature since it wasn’t stereotypical or as straightforward as it seemed on the surface and there were some dramatic plot twists that kept it interesting. 

The setup of the story is also very unique and something that I have never seen in a dystopian series before. The supernatural “Fold” is really the centerpiece of the series and it is mysterious enough for readers to keep wondering about it and what it really contains inside it. Directors Krieger and Almas withhold information and slowly release it as the story progresses, pushing the viewer to keep watching in order to learn more about Alina’s world, which creates a captivating “slow burn” effect. 

The show’s subplot was its only downfall, however. The directors used the idea behind the Six of Crows story about teenage heisters and intertwined it with Shadow and Bone, so they could fit it in the same timeline. Although the actors who played the three heisters were fantastic and depicted their emotions well, the progression of the subplot was too slow for it to be as eye-catching as Alina’s story was. 

Overall, despite some of the slow parts, Shadow and Bone is worth the watch, due to its great characters, compelling storyline and plot twists, and action-heavy scenes.